Quantcast
Connect with us

Jared Kushner vastly overstated Saudi arms deal in ‘amateur quality’ document: report

Published

on

The $110 billion arms deal touted by President Donald Trump as the basis for his strong ties to Saudi Arabia was inflated at the direction of his son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Two U.S. officials and three former White House officials confirmed that Kushner had pushed the State Department and Defense Department to use figures that were aspirational but unlikely, reported ABC News.

ADVERTISEMENT

Kushner, a White House senior adviser who is married to Ivanka Trump, reportedly hoped to score a victory for the president’s first foreign trip and symbolically ratify a new alliance with Saudi Arabia.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis supported his effort and endorsed the memorandum of intent, according to a former National Security Council official.

A defense strategy expert who has seen a copy said the letter of intent was “amateurish quality” and remarkably vague.

“It acknowledges it’s not binding,” said the expert, Michael O’Hanlon, of the Brookings Institute.

“It’s a multi-billion dollar transaction with three short lines of information as if that’s meaningful,” he added. “It’s like you’re taking notes on the back of a napkin over dinner. It’s not a contract. It’s the idea of putting all of these numbers in the interest for the biggest number you can find.”

ADVERTISEMENT

U.S. officials told Kushner the Saudis realistically had about $15 billion to spend on arms deals, but Kushner pushed NSC officials to “sell them as much as possible.”

“They were asking us to put as much pressure on the Saudis as we could [to buy American arms],” said one former NSC official. “It was definitely being pushed on the Pentagon people to see what was possible with the Saudis.”

Trump has cited the arms deal as a reason he sided with Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is close to Kushner, in an investigation into his alleged order to assassinate journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

ADVERTISEMENT

“These details raise even more questions about what is really driving the Trump administration’s refusal to crack down on Saudi Arabia’s behavior,” said Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

“If Jared Kushner inflated the size of this arms deal, we need to figure out why,” the lawmaker added. “Congress should get to the bottom of this and work to impose stronger sanctions on the Saudi regime, thoroughly review our relations with Riyadh, and cut off assistance for Saudi efforts in Yemen that have created a massive humanitarian crisis.”

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Scientists alarmed as first ever nest of giant ‘murder hornets’ is found in the United States

Published

on

After months of meticulous tracking, authorities in the western US state of Washington on Friday said they had uncovered the first ever nest of the deadly Asian giant hornet in the country.

The nest was found on Thursday by Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) entomologists on a property in Blaine, near the border with Canada, the agency said in a statement.

It added that an attempt to eradicate the nest of wasps -- the world's largest hornet species also known as the "murder hornet" -- would take place on Saturday.

"The successful detection of a nest comes after a WSDA trapper collected two live Asian giant hornets on October 21 (Wednesday), caught in a new type of trap the agency had placed in the area," the statement said.

Continue Reading

2020 Election

Mormons fed up with Trump’s vulgar rhetoric and behavior are flocking to the Democratic Party

Published

on

Mormons in the United States have traditionally been reliable Republican voters, but some members of the conservative church put off by President Donald Trump are switching sides and backing veteran Democrat Joe Biden.

Support for Trump among members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which emphasizes family values and morals, is especially lagging among women.

Experts say that could have a significant impact in some key battleground states -- notably Arizona and Nevada, where Mormons represent six percent of the population.

"There are things about Biden that I don't agree with, but I think it's more important not to vote for Trump," said Melarie Wheat, a 36-year-old mother of five who lives in the western state of Utah, where the LDS Church is headquartered.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

‘Nuts!’ The Lincoln Project mocks Jared and Ivanka for their ‘comical’ threat to sue over Times Square billboards

Published

on

The Lincoln Project on Friday night fired back at White House advisors Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump for threatening to sue over billboards in Times Square attacking their response to the coronavirus crisis.

The ads show the couple smiling alongside coronavirus death tolls for New Yorkers and Americans.

https://twitter.com/ProjectLincoln/status/1319294071513346053?s=20

Kushner and Trump's attorney, Marc Kasowitz, on Friday sent a letter to the Lincoln Project warning that the billboards were defamatory. “Those ads show Ms. Trump smiling and gesturing toward a death count of Americans and New Yorkers, and attribute to Mr. Kushner the statement that “[New Yorkers] are going to suffer and that’s their problem” (alteration in original), with body bags underneath,” the letter read.

Continue Reading
 
 
Democracy is in peril. Invest in progressive news. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free. LEARN MORE